Posts tagged #DreamBelieveFly
The spirit of Ubuntu shines bright at the 2019 Themba Gala
Daytona Showroom, Melrose Arch for Themba 2019

Daytona Showroom, Melrose Arch for Themba 2019

Fundraiser hosted by Make A Difference Leadership Foundation (MAD Leadership Foundation) in partnership with Rialheim raises R1,9 million to support the future leaders of South Africa.

On Thursday, 26 September, the Daytona Showroom in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, was transformed into a prestigious gala venue playing host to the 2nd annual Themba Gala presented by MAD Leadership Foundation in partnership with Rialheim. The theme for this year’s event was the African philosophy of Ubuntu  - “I am because we are”. A fitting proverb for the fundraiser in support of MAD Leadership Foundation, who provides educational access to deserving young South Africans with leadership potential (but who face economic and other barriers) through an individualised and personal scholarship programme.

The Ndlovu Youth Choir

The Ndlovu Youth Choir

An event celebrating hope and humanity

This year’s Themba Gala saw a generous contribution by corporates, individuals, sponsors, educational institutions, artists and suppliers who worked tirelessly to create a memorable experience for the esteemed guests attending the event. While hope remains an essential ingredient in the future of South Africa’s youth, MAD Leadership Foundation provides a platform of hope where the barriers between potential and success are removed for young South Africans determined to change not only their own circumstances, but also their communities and, ultimately, our country.

The spirit of Ubuntu was tangible at Daytona Showroom where you could feel the energy in the room. Guests were emotional when they heard the story of Mpumi, a scholar on the MAD Leadership program, who, against all odds, has prevailed to further her education and spark hope for others in her situation. The Ndlovu Youth Choir, who surprised guests with their performance, echoed the message of hope and unity as their song and dance pulsated throughout the venue. The auction buyers were abuzz, snapping up the beautiful artworks that they had been eyeing throughout the evening.

An expression of Ubuntu in the décor

Rialheim adorned the venue with décor and styling, celebrating the richness and diversity of the African continent. From the Evolution Man lamp greeting guests at the door and celebrating where we have come from as well as looking to the future with optimism, to the stage backdrop adorned with African Hearts and the tables lavishly decorated with key pieces such as the Mastaba vase symbolising all the dreams and talent awaiting to be born and how we as a collective can assist in making it happen.

“As the Ndlovu Youth Choir took to the stage with the Africa Hearts behind them bringing  their incredible energy and message of hope through adversity, I felt excited for the future of our country and proud to call myself South African,” says Creative Director of Rialheim, Rial Visagie.


The event generated a record-breaking R1.9 million for MAD Leadership Foundation -  a generous contribution to the organisation’s vision of supporting #1000Leaders. The funds raised from Themba 2019 will contribute towards the education and development of young leaders on the programme. However, there is still work to be done to get to the goal of 1000 leaders, but Themba 2019 has shown that this is a cause South Africans believe in and the hope that this dream will become a reality prevails.

Rialheim Themba Gala 2019-36.jpg

United, we can make a difference

“Themba 2019 showed us what Archbishop Desmond explained so eloquently, that “a person is a person through other persons, that my humanity is caught up, bound up, inextricably, with yours.” And we know why “#ImStaying”, because there is so much beautiful humanity and compassion in South Africa. If hope was a fragrance, I would bottle the laughter and inspiration and all-around beauty that is Themba and share it with the whole world,” says Helette Pieterse, CEO of MAD Leadership Foundation.

To join the movement and invest in the future leaders of our country, visit or donate below. Together we can create real change and turn hopes and dreams into reality.

* Donation in ZAR

Supporting Sponsors & Contributors

Andrew Gorman Photography, Angus Taylor, Anton Smit Banele, Khoza, Brand Evolution, City Lodge Hotel Group, Craft Liquor Merchants, Daytona Showroom, Falko One, Flower Art Company, Francois Pienaar, Gallophill, Gallery Greatjoy, Ndlovu, Guy du Toit, Haidee Nel, Hank Liebenberg, Hannelie Coetzee, Hugo de Villiers, Janko de Beer, Johnny’s Liquor Hypermarket Pty (Ltd), Makiwa Mutomba, Manuela Holzer, Melrose Gallery, Meridian Collective, MiaMish, Michael Carter Productions, Mpumelelo Pro Thusi, Nanette Ranger, Norman O’Flynn, Olivier, Owen Claassen, Phulani Liebenberg, Rialheim, Skye Meaker, Sound Decision, Steven Raphaely


A dream worth believing in

By Rial Visagie

Pictured from left to right, Daniel Swanepoel (Rialheim CEO), Francois Pienaar (MAD Leadership Foundation Founder and Chairman), Helette Pieterse (MAD Leadership Foundation CEO), Rial Visagie (Rialheim Creative Director).

Pictured from left to right, Daniel Swanepoel (Rialheim CEO), Francois Pienaar (MAD Leadership Foundation Founder and Chairman), Helette Pieterse (MAD Leadership Foundation CEO), Rial Visagie (Rialheim Creative Director).

It is our unique cultural diversity that enables us, as South Africans, to create magic on the global stage.

The inaugural Themba Gala called on the riches of our unique society by auctioning some of South Africa’s finest art, donated by 24 of our country’s top established and emerging artists. Art has always led society by challenging the status quo, holding up a mirror to current and global affairs. The bravery of this industry always demands attention and introspection. The donation of such work by local artists to Make a Difference Leadership Foundation enables South Africa’s future leaders to follow their dreams in realising a better future, not only for themselves but for their society at large. This makes me incredibly proud to call myself a South African and humbled for Rialheim to have been a part of this fantastic event.

Esteemed artists included Mbongeni Buthelezi, Anton Smit & Jaco Sieberhagen.

When Rialheim was challenged to join the movement to support 1000 leaders through MAD Leadership Foundation we immediately jumped onboard, supporting founder & Chairman Francois Pienaar’s dream to expand the organisation’s reach and impact. At present, MAD Leadership Foundation, together with their corporate and event partners, artists and individual supporters currently fund 220 young leaders at schools and universities in all nine provinces helping them achieve academic and leadership excellence. This fills me with so much excitement for tomorrow, for the future of our great country.

“Just imagine a world where every single person can follow and realise their own dreams. What a wonderful world that can be.” 

The venue was adorned with bespoke Rialheim décor including over 1000 ceramic birds and our Humanity Vase & Industrial Candle Stick in Bronze

I am privileged to live my dream every day and believe it is my basic human right to do so. To live your life, by following your dreams is not without challenges. Therefore, organisations like the MAD Leadership Foundation are vital for our society because they believe in and facilitate these dreams, aspirations and hopes. #DreamBelieveFly afforded Rialheim the opportunity to join the movement of creating 1000 future leaders by co-hosting the inaugural Themba Gala that took place last week and we are extremely proud to have played a role in raising R1.8 million during the event enabling young people to follow their dreams, ensuring that their potential becomes possible.

“This event reminded me that our rich and complex diversity combined with a little magic really can make a difference.”

Some of the esteemed guests at Themba with entertainment by Zolani Mahola & Arno Carstens.

See more photos by clicking here.

You can play a part on the journey to supporting #1000Leaders by pledging a donation to MAD Leadership Foundation.